On Friday, Joe Biden released an ad intimating that President Donald Trump is responsible for the fact that football is not happening Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. All four of these are swing states, and three of them are the home to Big Ten Schools. Trump has fought back against that implication, saying that he wants all football back, but that Democrats do not:
No, I want Big Ten, and all other football, back – NOW. The Dems don’t want football back, for political reasons, but are trying to blame me and the Republicans. Another LIE, but this is what we are up against! They should also open up all of their Shutdown States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2020
Disgraceful that Big Ten is not playing football. Let them PLAY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2020
If you look at high school football, there is a general pattern where states with Republican governors are playing high school football and states with Democrat governors are not. There are some exceptions, like Kentucky, Wisconsin, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Connecticut, Kansas, and Louisiana, which have Democrat governors but are playing high school football.
In Michigan, Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer was seen as a “roadblock” against the idea of Ohio State organizing a Big Ten schedule with Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and Penn State. She later said that she is “glad” the Big Ten canceled football this fall.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren has wondered aloud if the Big Ten could swing the presidential election, and aggressively worked for the conference’s athletes to register to vote (it’s presumable he wants/expects them to vote for Biden).
Big Ten presidents and chancellors, every one of whom is a top one-percenter in annual income, allegedly voted to cancel the football the season in the Fall but have largely declined to put their names to that decision. They won’t be able to hide forever.
On Friday, reports emerged that the Big Ten is considering moving its season from starting in January to around Thanksgiving. We’ll see if the goalposts are able to move ever closer in the coming weeks.